Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ebay

One bad thing at the moment is that I'm finding it hard to photograph my stuff. We've had some nice bright days, but whenever I get my camera out, the clouds gather, the skies go dark, and my photos become dull. However, I managed to do a few - here's one I was pleased with.

Ebay.... You might know that I spend A LOT of time on ebay. I know, I know, it's an addiction, but then there are so many brilliant things to be found. like all this dolly goodness -

But isn't it horrid 'When Ebay Goes Bad' ? I've been waiting for over two months to sort out a transaction with a seller in the States. I ordered a whole bunch of dolls. She took 5 weeks to post them! When the package finally arrived, I found she had left out the most expensive doll. I'm still waiting for it to arrive. Trouble is, it's gone past the date for a dispute on ebay, so I just have to hope that it's down to incompetence, rather than anything malicious.

But last week I felt like an ebay vigilante, as I reported someone else for shill bidding. I've never done that before, but I was pretty sure this time. Nobody had bid on this item all week, but within an hour of my bid, I'd been outbid (underbid first, then outbid). It happens, and when it feels a bit wrong, as this did, I usually just leave them to it, and walk away. But it was a new-ish seller and a new bidder, and when I when I looked at the bid history, it seemed to correspond pretty neatly with the dozen or so random items the seller had sold/was selling so far. So I reported it. There must have been enough there for ebay to take action, as all the seller's items had been removed within a couple of hours. Blimey! The Avenging Angel of Ebay has meted out justice!

Monday, 20 October 2008

West Bristol Art Trail - Follow-up

I feel like a real artist!
I participated in the West Bristol Art Trail on Saturday, showing my work at the Hope Community Church, along with about 12 other artists. I had been a bit apprehensive beforehand, but I'm so glad I did it. Lots of people came, and were all very appreciative. I sold two of my boxed assemblage pieces, along with lots of 'Vintage Originals' badges and cards. This is 'Wired' - one of the pieces I sold -

The venue was very close to Hotwells Primary School (where they were also showing art), so lots of little kids came in with their parents. One of the highlights of the day was hearing a little boy say to his mum, as he gazed up at my work, "These are my favourites!" Children are the best art critics!

Just seeing people look at my work was very cool...

Many thanks to all the organisers and visitors, and other artists!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Put on a happy face

I've been intending to write a new post almost every day since the last one. Yes, you've heard that one before. Yes, I am a terrible procrastinator. Yes, I got busy/ distracted/ uninspired/ overinspired/ everything that we all say every time...

I was feeling a bit up and down last week. By which I mean I was feeling very low, and then felt a lot better. And I've been struck lately by the number of creative bloggers out there who also get depressed. And I don't mean just generally feeling a bit low. I mean debilitating depression. I'm wondering if it's me. Am I just attracted to the sort of people who get depressed? People like me, in fact?

I've struggled with bouts of depression over the last 10+ years. I think I'm winning. I've got a lot better at dealing with it, and now, on the whole, I'm able to realise that however bad I feel, I will get better. A few years ago, I had counselling, which was helpful in an almost surreptitious way. I wasn't sure I was coming to any conclusion, but certain things just stopped being a problem. I think the counselling also helped me to talk to other people with problems in a non-judgemental way.

And I think that that made a lot of friends talk to me about their depression. In fact my three best friends (partner not included) all have depression in varying degrees. It's extremely common, of course. (Although there is a bit of me that worries that I've made them depressed! Does talking to me make the whole world seem bleak and hopeless? Only if I wear the scary doll mask, I expect! )

Anyway, lots of creative work really helps. I've been trying to get lots done for the Art Trail exhibition next week, Lots of new work, which has started to go in pleasing directions. I've been making assemblages with old doll heads, and managed to get a nice lot off ebay.
Don't have nightmares...

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Hunter Gatherer

I decided last week that I had to go to a jumble sale. Every other blog or Flickr photo I've looked at, has been showing fantastic stuff that everyone has been buying for pennies at yard sales and thrift shops. Here in the UK, we have car boot sales and charity shops, and, of course, jumble sales.

I used to go to jumble sales every Saturday. I'd look at the newspaper, and work out an itinerary for the day. If I went to one at 10am, I could probably just make it to that other one at 10.30. Then there might be a couple at 2pm and 2.30, and I would rush from one to the other. You had to get there early, as the keen punters would queue at the door, and burst in as soon as it opened - every woman for herself. Elbows were used judiciously - jumbling was a contact sport. Some people carried weapons - an umbrella or a shopping trolley could be pretty vicious in the wrong hands. But I could be as rough and tough as the best of them.

But in recent years, jumble sales have declined. There are more car boot sales, and a lot of people just give their spare stuff to charity shops. So it was actually quite hard to find a jumble sale on Saturday. The only one I could find was in Yate, right over the other side of the city. Was I being completely bonkers, going all that way, to dig about in old tat in a village hall? Well, probably, but I was going to do it anyway.

I'm so glad I did! Not that I found any special treasure, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And then I went round the local charity shops as well. So here's my haul, to go on display next to all you other yard salers, thrifters, and rummagers.
I picked up a little fabric bag, which I thought had a nice pattern, and when I got it home, I was pleased to discover it had a Cath Kidston label. The thing with the big rose is a vintage apron, which is rather lovely. Not sure about the Welsh tea towel, but it made me smile. And I must be able to think of something cool to make with those magnetic letters. There were a few more textiles, which you can't see in the picture - scarves and a tablecloth.

Then today, I had to go out, and I was passing a Chinese supermarket. It's a new one I hadn't been to, so I had to go in. And then, once I was in there, well, it would have been rude not to buy anything...
I bought about three times as much as this, but I thought I'd just photograph the pretty packaging. (Hello Kitty!!)

Saturday, 4 October 2008

100 hearts

A few blogs ago, I said that I was trying to get 100 items in my Etsy shop by the end of September. I never managed it. I think the highest I got was to 59 items, and it would have been more, but I kept selling things. Yay! However, I did reach another small milestone - 100 people who heart my shop.

It may not be many compared to some, but it's still very pleasing. Thank you to all the lovely Etsians who share my love of kitschness and curiosities!